2015 Sports Wrap-up - Remembering Jules Bianchi - Copyright: David Acosta Allely Image Credit: David Acosta Allely / Shutterstock.com

2015 Sports Wrap-up - Remembering Jules Bianchi - Copyright: David Acosta Allely Image Credit: David Acosta Allely / Shutterstock.com

A FirstStep.me feature,

World football body Fifa shifted the focus from the on field antics of sport to the alleged backroom (or should that be boardroom?) shenanigans of professional sport. Football might find itself in a somewhat jaded position right now, but rugby provided the necessary bullish grunt to keep the game firmly position on the field.

The 2015 Rugby World Cup hosted by England was an epic tournament, arguably presenting the best Rugby World Cup from the minnows’ perspective. The New Zealand All Blacks became the first country to successfully defend their World Cup crown and also win the tournament for a record third time (1987, 2011 and 2015). But it was the brave Japanese team who won the hearts of rugby fans across the world when they defeated the South African Springboks in the first round. Don’t forget South Africa have won the Rugby World Cup twice, on home soil in 1995 and in France in 2007. Japan’s brave victory over the South Africans goes to show just what can be achieved through hard work, passion and sheer determination.

Saying Goodbye:

Fresh after the All Blacks victory, the world mourned the sudden loss of one of sports greatest sons, Jonah Lomu. He left behind a legacy that imprinted the first true rugby superstar the world has ever known.

Sadly another loss, the death of Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi is one of the darker moments of sport from around the world. Lewis Hamilton did win the championship, but Bianchi’s death could represent so much more when the 2015 season is looked at and reviewed in the years to come.

We also had said a final farewell to former cricketer and television commentator Richie Benaud. He along with the late Pat Summerall (NFL) will be remembered as benchmark sportscasters of a technicolor age.

Films with a sporting edge:

In 2014 the documentary ‘Pantani: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist’ side-stepped the Lance Armstrong presence in the sport. However the Armstrong affair was thrust back under the spotlight this year with the film ‘The Program’ based on David Walsh's book, ‘Seven Deadly Sins’. Whilst Will Smith got everyone thinking about the dangers of contact sport with the film Concussion.

The bad, the need for a comeback and just being mean whilst riding a bike!

Deflategate still lingers in the NFL, Tiger never did too much prowling and Valentino Rossi quite literally kicked off the opposition.

Please don’t go!

What Bayern Munich supporters are saying to Pep Guardiola.

The winners!

Serena Williams has quite simply put the world in its place and has dominated the world of tennis, whilst Jason Day is bringing something fresh to a golfing industry that is looking for something wholesome. Whilst Adriano de Souza claimed surfing’s world title at Pipeline in Hawaii.

Sharks in the water -

Mick Fanning - had a heavy year - he lost his brother and fought off a shark - he gets a special mention for reminding us that even champions are human.

A good year ahead!

All we can say is that 2016 is going to a sporting year of note. With the Summer Olympics stealing the show in Rio in August.